Just returned from a three night stay at the Astoria and had an amazing time.
The hotel was lovely, the communal areas very grand, with opulent marble and chandeliers. The room was comfortable, with air-con / heating and nicely decorated. The downsides of the room were no blackout curtains (Which we found very odd!) so the sunrise did often wake us up and no tea and coffee making facilities. Although it did have a mini-bar, which although was expensive compared to cafes and bars in the area, it was cheap in comparison to mini-bars at other 4 star hotels I have stayed at in the world!
The staff spoke excellent English, were polite and helpful. Service in the restaurant was a tad slow, but not enough for us to complain. I think maybe it was slow because of the amount of time they took in the beautiful presentation of the food. Despite it's grand interiors, the hotel wasn't snooty place, it was relaxed and welcoming.
The location was excellent, near one of the Metro lines and only 10 mins walk (Or one Metro stop) from a main interchange Metro station Deak Ferenc Ter which is where you get on the line (M3) that goes to the airport.
There is also a 24 hour cafe bar across the road called Gourmand, the staff were friendly and the beer was cheap!
The hotel was about a 10 minute walk to the river, where you could find cafes, bars and restaurants. Some pricier than others, but because Hungary isn't on the Euro yet, we found the prices very reasonable. A large beer was about £1.80, wine about £2.20 a glass and a main course between £5-£12.
The main shopping Street Vaci Utca was again about 10 mins walk from the hotel, lots of shops, bars, restaurants and they had a food and craft market on in the square, not sure if the market is always there, but it was nice to look around.
THINGS TO DO
There's so much to do in three days. We made sure that we walked over the Danube to Buda, opposite the "Chain Bridge" there is a funicular railway that takes you up the hill to the palace and streets surrounding it. We took in the sites from the top and then wandered the streets, stopping off for a well earned beer in the sunshine. We then went to the Labyrinth Of Buda Castle, which was a series of underground, dark, damp, connected caves that you can literally get lost in! It was spooky, but real fun in there, until the beers had kicked in and we were desperate to find a bathroom but could not find our way out!
A day at a spa is another must, we chose Széchenyi Gyógyfürdő, as it had a thermal, outdoor spa and the weather was lovely (Although don't let bad weather put you off, it's about 40 degrees in the water!) A metro from Deak Ferenc Ter goes straight to this Spa, it's the big yellow building, you can't miss it. Although, word of advice, take some flip flops to wear in the spa, as the floors had no gripped flooring, it was all marble and very wet marble, so much so I slipped over, landing hard on my backside and wrist, my wrist bruised immediately and I was lucky not to break it.
We had planned on doing a cruise on the Danube on our last day, but didn't realise that until April the trips didn't start early and started at 13:30, so we didn't have time. There was a two hour trip that we'd planned to book that would include an hour on the Margrit Island, which we couldn't find a way on to by foot as the bridge was under refurbishment / repair, which was a shame.
When we arrived at the airport (23:30) the public transport had just finished, so we'd booked a cab online in advance with Zona Cabs. The city is divided in to zones and districts and the taxis charge a set fee to specific zones. The taxi was about £18 to the hotel (Zone 2) and took about 15 mins.
You can get a city map with Metro map from the Tourist Info desk in the airport, even when it's un-manned.
During our stay we took the Metro a few times, we bought single trip tickets as we walked most of the time as the weather was so good, so didn't need a 3-day pass. A single journey was about £1.20. Remember after buying your ticket to validate it in the little machines before the escalators, otherwise you could face a fine.
When it was time to leave, we decided to get the Metro to the airport to save some money. We paid the £1.20 for the single ticket, changed to the M3 line at Deak Ferenc Ter then at the last stop, Kőbánya-Kispest, catch the free transfer bus to the Airport. The bus is the 200E. The journey took about 45 mins.
All in all, a lovely city, felt very safe there, the locals were friendly and the weather and sights beautiful. We would definitely go back and would stay at The Astoria again too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Fancy staying in a hotel with classic styling and a rich history right at the heart of Budapest? The legendary Hotel Astoria Budapest opened in 1914 as one of the city’s most elegant hotels, and – over a century later – it stays true to that original character. Guests have always been attracted by its sublime fin-de-siècle architecture and comfortable rooms. And its location: a 10-minute walk from prime attractions like the Hungarian National Museum, the Great Synagogue (the largest in Europe), the Danube promenade and the famous Váci Street. Furthermore, if you want to venture further, the metro station and tram line are just a few steps away. Looking for an event venue? The 4-star hotel – with its unique atmosphere – is the perfect choice for professional meetings, social gatherings and weddings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Danubius Hotel Budapest